A Year in Review and a Year in View

A look at local and international events from 2018 – with a view into 2019.

There are many perspectives from which to examine the world of interpreting in 2018 – local, national and international. This blog posts examines the events of 2018 from a local perspective, from the perspective of Canada, but even more locally, British Columbia.

4 Key Trends 2018 – 2019
1. Standards and Certification
2. Consumer Knowledge and Education
3. Technology Rising
4. Knowledge Sharing

Standards and Certification – Ongoing commitment to standards

In addition to the 2014 ISO standards, a new, more general, standard for interpreting was published in 2018. And currently in draft is the ISO Health Care Interpreting Standard. This increased attention to the field through these standards means increased profile and professionalization.

    • ISO 13611: 2014 – General Guidelines for Community Interpreting
    • ISO 1884: 2018– Interpreting services – General requirements and recommendations
    • HSO Standard on Communication in Health Care (Canada)

Coming in 2019/2020

  • ISO standards on interpreting in Health Care Interpreting
  • ISO standards on interpreting – Legal Interpreting


Interpreters must keep their professional skills updated and be advocates for the profession. Be aware of certification requirements and be ready to get certified. But also, be knowledgeable about what certification means and ensure that it is a legitimate process.

Consumer Knowledge and Education

In interpreting services the professionals and organizations (doctors, social workers, ministries, etc.) that use the services of interpreters are called end-users or consumers. In 2018 there was a marked interest in consumers’ interest to better understand interpreting services and how to more effectively work with interpreters.


Increased awareness of the interpreter’s role and how to work with interpreters means that professionals will know what to expect from interpreters and that they will be more aware of standards of practice and the role boundaries. This is great for interpreters that are already working at peak performance, but means that interpreters lacking in some skill areas will need to improve their abilities.

Technology (in small bytes)
Community Interpreting (in Canada) is still on the margins of the technology waves, but it is coming. What we have observed in 2018 is:

  • More remote (telephone) interpreting
  • More distance education opportunities
  • More wireless technologies – potentially reducing numbers of interpreters required
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)


In order to succeed interpreters are going to have to get comfortable with technology not only as a tool for working but also a tool for learning. More educational and professional development opportunities are being delivered online – The Interpreter’s Lab, for example, is taking advantage of technology and moving some programs and courses online.

But technology also means that interpreters are going to have to improve their enunciation, articulation and overall speaking skills. Take a look at our Speech Improvement and Accent Reduction packages for more information on how to improve your speaking.

Knowledge Sharing

In 2018 more organizations added more information online to provide interpreters with more resources for self-guided and ongoing learning. These community “toolboxes”, of a sort, are of great benefit to interpreters, so take advantage of these resources.

Analysis: Get Connected and Learn More

1. The Interpreter’s Lab updates and news (www.interpreterslab.org)
2. Critical Link International (www.criticallink.org)
3. AIIC (www.aiic.net)
4. EU Speech Repository (https://webgate.ec.europa.eu/sr/)
5. Online Training Resources (https://orcit.eu)

The Year in Review 2018 at The Interpreter’s Lab

When we look back we are so happy that we were able to provide so much information and professional development to our wonderful students and clients.

Live onLine Series: Guest speakers, special live forums and industry insight.

1. February 2018 – Dr. Tanya Elez: Vicarious Trauma and Interpreter Self Care

2. March 2018 – Tammy Johnston, The Financial Guides: How to Financially Manage a Freelance Business ​

3. April 2018 – Young Joe, Bilinguals International: Rocking Advocacy: Tools for the Profession and the Professional

4. May 2018 – Open Forum: The Fundamentals of Interpreting

5. June/July 2018 – Special Live Forum – Moral and Ethical Decision Making in Complex Care Settings

6. September 2018 – Marie-Claude, Change Your Accent: Accent Reduction Strategies for Professional Interpreters

7. October 2018 – Crystal Johnson, MSc, RSLP, Speech Language Pathologist, Providence Health: Strategies for Interpreters working with Speech Language Therapists – and other complex care settings

8. November 2018 – What to look out for in 2019

Remember that The Interpreter’s Lab is more than just courses. Here’s how we can help:

  • Workshops for Intensive training
  • Speech Improvement and Accent Reduction
  • E-Book coming out soon “How to Survive and Thrive as a Community Interpreter”
  • Language and Interpreting Assessments

Happy Holidays